Updates to At-school COVID Testing
September 1, 2021
Creative Minds is participating in a citywide, school-based testing program for COVID-19, through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and Shield T3.
Last Friday, Mayor Bowser and OSSE announced that DC public and public charter schools must enroll students in the Shield T3 program on an opt-out basis. Therefore, Creative Minds is switching from an opt-in to an opt-out model.
The mayor’s announcement recognizes the role of testing in safely reopening schools and states that an opt-out model “will significantly increase participation in the District’s COVID-19 school-based testing program.”
How to Opt Out
Links to the form in languages other than English are available at this page.
If we do not receive an opt-out form from you, your child will be enrolled in the testing program.
You may submit the opt-out form at any time. Testing will begin on September 9, so please submit the form by September 7 if you do not want your child to participate in any COVID-19 testing.
About the Program
We will be offering three kinds of free COVID-19 test at school:
Routine Asymptomatic Testing: A student may be selected, as part of a random sample of individuals, to receive a test for the COVID-19 virus. This testing happens once a week, with a different randomly selected group of students each week.
Close-Contact Testing: If a student is identified as a close contact of an individual who has COVID-19 in the school setting, he or she would be eligible for COVID-19 testing after the exposure.
Symptomatic Testing: If a student develops symptoms of COVID-19 at school, he or she will complete a COVID-19 test.
All tests will be self-administered. Shield T3 will supervise asymptomatic testing. Trained Creative Minds staff members will supervise symptomatic testing.
The test is a noninvasive PCR test. A saliva sample, of 1–1.5 milliliters, is collected in a small test tube.
You will be notified at the end of the day if your child has participated in routine asymptomatic testing. If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms at school, you will be notified right away, and a COVID-19 test will be administered immediately.
Close-contact testing will happen before a student leaves the school building, and parents/guardians will be notified. Read our Back-to-School Guide for information about how we would respond to a case of COVID-19 in our community.
The results of COVID-19 tests will be available through a DC Health patient portal, usually within six to 12 hours. We’ll share more information about the portal when it’s available.
Creative Minds will also contact a student’s parents or guardians if a test is positive.
Read more about the COVID-testing program on pages 1 and 2 of the opt-out form.
At-school COVID-19 testing is mandatory for Creative Minds staff members. Though testing is optional for students, we encourage all families to remain opted in to the program. Like Mayor Bowser, we recognize that testing is a critical part of keeping our community safe and healthy.
If you have any questions about our COVID-19 testing, please email Heather Hesslink, our COVID point of contact, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your patience as we adapt our protocols for COVID-19 mitigation and response to the latest requirements.